After months of dickering over price, the Mass Transit Administration and the owner of the Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad have reached an agreement in principle on six miles of right-of-way that will form the backbone of the southern leg of metropolitan Baltimore's light-rail transit line.
This is welcome news for the region, and especially commuters in Anne Arundel County. The southern spur -- expected to carry 16,000 round-trip passengers a day after it opens next year -- offers substantial savings on parking and auto wear-and-tear for county residents who work in downtown Baltimore.
More important, it will open Anne Arundel's rich job market to city workers. Once difficult-to-reach employers like the Motor Vehicle Administration on Ritchie Highway, companies near Baltimore-Washington International Airport and scattered industrial parks and retail strips will be readily accessible via the southern spur and a feeder bus network. By capturing traffic between Glen Burnie and Baltimore -- particularly near the congested heart of the city -- the southern leg will also help reduce auto-exhaust pollution and the region's air-quality problems.